Doctors are learning new things every day. So far we recognise that COVID-19 may not initially cause any symptoms. You may carry the virus for 2 days or up to 2 weeks before you notice symptoms.
Some common symptoms that have been explicitly linked to the 2019 coronavirus include:
●feeling short of breath
●having a cough that gets more severe over time
●a low-grade fever that gradually increases in heat
The full list of signs is still being investigated.
When to seek help
If you encounter any of the symptoms above and have travelled to China in the past 14 days, or have stayed in close contact with someone with confirmed COVID-19 within the last 14 days, call your physician right away.
COVID-19 versus the flu
The 2019 coronavirus is much more deadly than seasonal flu. An estimated 0.06 to 0.1 per cent of people who developed the flu during the 2019–2020 flu period in the United States died (as of February 2020), compared to around 2 per cent of those diagnosed with the 2019 coronavirus.
Here are some common traits of a flu infection:
●runny or stuffy nose
What causes coronaviruses?
Coronaviruses are zoonotic. This indicates they first develop in animals before happening in humans.
For the virus to pass from animal to humans, a person has to come into close contact with a creature that carries the infection.
Once the virus emerges in people, coronaviruses can be spread from person to person through respiratory droplets. This is a technical name for the wet stuff that moves through the air when you cough or sneeze.
The viral element hangs out in these droplets and can be breathed into the respiratory region (your windpipe and lungs), where the virus can then lead to a contagion.
The 2019 coronavirus hasn’t been definitively linked to a specific animal.
But researchers think that the virus may have been passed from bats to another animal — either snakes or pangolins — and then spread to humans. This transmission likely transpired in the open food market in Wuhan, China.
Who’s at increased risk?
You’re at high risk for developing this disease if you come into contact with someone who’s carrying the virus, especially if you’ve been exposed to their saliva or been near them when they’ve coughed or sneezed.
Washing your hands and disinfecting surfaces can help decrease your risk for catching this or other viruses.
Older men seem to be especially susceptible to the virus. A report by the World Health Organization (WHO) found that the median age of people testing positive for this coronavirus was around 45 years and that over two-thirds of those people were male.
How are coronaviruses diagnosed?
The 2019 coronavirus can be diagnosed similarly to other viral infections using a blood, saliva, or tissue sample. In the United States, only the CDC currently can diagnose COVID-19.
Talk to your physician right away if you think you have a coronavirus infection, particularly if you’ve travelled to China in the past 14 days. Your doctor will talk to local public health officials to guide on whether testing for the virus is required.
A lab specialist will either draw a sample of your blood with a needle or use a cotton swab to get a small sample of saliva or respiratory excretions from your nose or the back of your throat.
The sample is then transferred to a testing facility to confirm the presence of viral material or antibodies that respond to the virus.